Proposal for a discussion meeting with FAPESP

Science as an open enterprise: open data for open science

To be held in Sao Paulo on 28 February or 1 March

Co-Chairs: Professor Martyn Poliakoff FRS, Foreign Secretary of the Royal Society
Professor José Arana Varela FAPESP CEO
Speaker: Dr Philip Campbell, Editor in Chief, Nature
Reply: Dr Carlos Brito Cruz, FAPESP Scientific Director
Audience: FAPESP and wider science community

Agenda

Introduction from Professor Martyn Poliakoff FRS

Presentation from Dr Philip Campbell

Reply by Dr Brito Cruz on Brazil’s perspective on open science

Discussion and Q&A with participants

Background

Open inquiry is at the heart of the scientific enterprise. Publication of scientific theories – and of the experimental and observational data on which they are based – permits others to identify errors, to support, reject or refine theories and to reuse data for further understanding and knowledge. Science’s powerful capacity for self-correction comes from this openness to scrutiny and challenge.

The report analyses the impact of new and emerging technologies that are transforming the conduct and communication of research. The recommendations are designed to improve the conduct of science, respond to changing public expectations and political culture and enable researchers to maximise the impact of their research. They are designed to ensure that reproducibility and self-correction are maintained in an era of massive data volumes. They aim to stimulate the communication and collaboration where these are needed to maximise the value of data-intensive approaches to science.

Action is needed to maximise the exploitation of science in business and in public policy. But not all data are of equal interest and importance. Some are rightly confidential for commercial, privacy, safety or security reasons. There are both opportunities and financial costs in the full presentation of data and metadata.

Role of research councils

The report recommends that Research Councils should improve the communication of research data from the projects they fund by recognising those who could maximise usability and good communication of their data; by including the costs of preparing data and metadata for curation as part of the costs of the research process; and by working with others to ensure the sustainability of datasets.

With both the Royal Society’s Foreign Secretary and one of its Working Group members on the Science as an open enterprise report in Sao Paulo at the same time, this would be an excellent opportunity to engage FAPESP and Brazil’s wider research community on this important and increasingly urgent agenda.